Herb of the Year

2022 – VIOLA

Each year since 1995 the International Herb Association picks one herb. This year is the Viola.

Violet, Pansy, Heartsease, are all part of the genus Viola. They are edible, medicinal and beautiful. Often used in early spring or late fall containers since they tolerate cold.

Pansy and violet flowers are edible. They can be used for soups, omelets, desserts, and beverages. Pansy flowers can be used in salads and can elevate the look of your cheese board and fruit plate. They are also great on sweets like cupcakes or cookies.

Historically, Violets were a healing herb. Even today, some naturopaths use viola tinctures or extracts to treat some skin conditions.

What is the difference between a violet and a Pansy? Pansies are larger, they have four petals pointing up and one pointing down, while Violets are smaller (many are native to woodland areas) and they have two petals pointing up and three pointing down.

pansy 2022 herb of the year 4 petals up and one petal down
violets with 2 petals up and 3 petals down
photo from Johnson’s Garden